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A federal judge has denied the federal government’s request for a 60 day stay in the matter of Mance v. Holder. In that case, the Northern District of Texas held that the Federal ban on interstate transfers of firearms except through an FFL was unconstitutional. The federal government had requested a 60-day stay on the order to allow them time to decide whether or not to file an appeal. The Northern District was unimpressed . . .

It essentially told los federales to go pound sand until and unless they file an appeal. (Which, obviously, they may yet decide to do.) Alan Gottleib, whose organization was part of the suit, allowed himself a little victory lap:

“We’re delighted that Judge O’Connor is not going to simply allow the government to stall this ruling,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “This case could have significant ramifications nationwide, and allowing a two-month stay while the government essentially claims it will be thinking about whether to appeal obviously was not warranted.”

Congratulations to Mr. Gottlieb, the CCRKBA and Alan Gura for yet another win.

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49 Responses to Federal Judge Denies Stay in Mance v. Holder

  1. I do have a lot of love for Mr. Gottlieb and Mr. Gura. Of course the federal government’s ban on interstate transfer of firearms apart from a FFL is unconstitutional.

    • Is this another case that the NRA was not interested in? Couldn’t find much in a quick search.

      Loving Gura here too. I wouldn’t care if he lost a few cases if some of these basic questions were settled once and for all, but he is winning quite a few victories, so all the better.

  2. Glad to see and hear this! Let’s continue to hope and pray that this ruling stands all the way to the Supreme Court!

  3. I had the privilidge of seeing Gura speak at a small gathering at a small liberal arts college in California. The man is a rock star and seriously one very sharp dude.

  4. Just the fact that we can not transfer a Ruger Mark 3 target pistol to someone from out of state at the point of sale but can sell them an AK-47 with a folding stock and drum magazines should be enough to show any anti-gun crybaby how stupid this law is. The same goes for not allowing an 18 year old to buy the same pistol when they could get 1000x the firepower in the rifle. The only people I see this ruling hurting is the sole dealer in DC and the anti’s who make up the ridiculous CA approved handgun list.

  5. Does this mean I can buy a Non MA Compliant pistol in NC and gift it to my MA brother-in-law(as long as it has only the asinine MA mags)

    • The right to give a firearm as a gift between states exists independent of this decision. The only rule is that the firearm has to comply with the laws of the state in which it is delivered. I do not know what Mass. law requires. For California, a gift of a firearm not on the roster between specified “close family members” is lawful as long as the firearm does not have a capacity in excess of 10 rounds; unfortunately, the permitted transfers are only vertical–father to son, son to mother or grandparent, e.g., but not sib to sib. California also bans the sale by an FFL of off-roster firearms to civilians, unless the firearm is a C&R, and this ruling requires the out of state FFL to comply with the law of the state into which the firearm is transferred, which I understand to mean is that the out of state FFL can only sell guns to California residents that appear on the California roster. I would assume that the Massachusetts law is similar.

      The law was intended to preclude “ghost guns” being brought into various states that required handgun registration. Until this law, someone could go to a state without such requirements, buy guns, and then bring them back to the state which required registration–and all those guns would be “off the books.” Funny, despite this law, those same complaints are being made today by states like NY and Illinois, who claim that crime guns are often brought in from out of state–except of course that they are usually stolen out of state rather than purchased in violation of the federal law. The federal court judge stated that since all FFL sales require a NICS check, the purpose of the federal law of keeping guns out of the hands of bad guys who buy out of state is served, and that the law’s utility has expired.

    • Probably, maybe, could be, wait – watch out for the “Straw Man” provisions of federal laws.

      So long as ANY unconstitutional federal, state or local gun law remains on the books every action remains a calculated risk. Act accordingly.

      “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.” (Emphasis mine, although it should have been included in the original draft.)

    • It clicks through to the website where it’s for sale as a metal sign. I’m getting one for my office.

      • I did not think to click on it. Thanks for the heads-up! and
        Thank you, Johannes Paulsen for posting it!

    • I have to wonder about a drive-thru shooting range though. Sounds like a stage in one of Foghorn’s competitions.

      • If you do good @ the drive thru shooting range, you are rewarded with Girls, Guns, Ammo and Liquor? Where do I sign up?

  6. Accordingly, the Court DECLARES that 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(3), 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(3), and 27 C.F.R. § 478.99(a) are UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and Defendants are ENJOINED from enforcing these provisions.

    If this decision was not stayed, it means that today, I can drive across state lines to an FFL and take delivery (in person) of a handgun. Correct?

    • Maybe in the Northern District of Texas, where this ruling was made. Not anywhere else at this point.

      • I respectfully disagree, this was not a state law, it was a federal law. It ruling counts in all 57 states.

        • I think you meant 49. Even this this goes to the SCOTUS, I’m sure New Jersey will find a way around it, legal or not.

        • Federal law, true–but a District Court only gets to say what that law means within its district. Someone who tries it in another district would find himself dealing with a different District court, which could come to a different conclusion.

        • G. P. Is referencing obeymes speech where he said he’d been to 57 states so far…
          YouTube it. It’s funny

        • Federal court is federal court. How could a ruling concerning a federal statute which applies to all the states (and federal districts) only count in that district. Are we to believe that an unconstitutional federal law so ruled only has standing in the district it was heard? By that logic, the plaintiffs could purchase their handguns in that district and become instant felons when they left that district on the drive back to Wash DC. Kind of goes against the whole idea of the lawsuit.

        • It is not uncommon for a law struck down in one federal court district to continue to be valid in another district. Usually other districts will use the existing ruling in making their decisions, if someone challenges the law in that district.
          But unless it makes the trip to the supreme court, it doesn’t apply nationwide.

        • Nonsensical or otherwise, a district court’s interpretation is not binding on any other court. It is only binding on the parties before the court. And an appellate court’s opinion is only binding on the courts within that appellate circuit. That’s one reason the SCOTUS will take a case–to resolve a conflict between different circuits.

        • It is only binding on the parties to the lawsuit…. but isn’t one of those parties the BATFE? In which case: “the Court DECLARES that 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(3), 18 U.S.C. § 922(b)(3), and 27 C.F.R. § 478.99(a) are UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and Defendants are ENJOINED from enforcing these provisions.”

          It seems like they would have to appeal the decision to escape being enjoined from enforcing those provisions, regardless of where they enforce them. If they are found to be enforcing them (anywhere), couldn’t the court seek to find them in contempt, or whatever other remedy exists when a defendant fails to abide by the court’s decision?

        • I’m not a lawyer (hopefully one will weigh in) but I’m not sure a District Judge has the authority to compel government behavior outside his District. Certainly it is possible (indeed it is common) for there to be conflicting rulings from trial- and appellate-level rulings from different federal courts. These conflicts may eventually get resolved by a ruling from the Supreme Court of the U. S., but sometimes that takes a while (e.g. many years). Sometimes the Supreme Court declines to hear an appeal when there’s a split between different Circuits (the level above District Courts), leaving a law interpreted different ways in large swaths of the country for an extended period of time.

  7. So when will this have any practical value? I live a mile from Indiana and would love to sell& buy handguns without a transfer. I already buy all my guns & 80% of everything else due to lower taxes and pretty much everything cheaper(Illinois sucks). Seriously does TTAG know?

  8. The biggest question is this going to apply to online purchases? Will I be able to buy a gun online and have it shipped straight to my house or is this going to apply strictly to only in person purchases in another state.

    This will be nice since I’m always in Lousiana even though I reside in Texas.

    • I would agree; it would be nice to fill out an E4473, provide a scan of my Drivers Licence and any applicable state firearms licences, maybe a verification picture to prove I am who I say I am then have a handgun shipped to me. I honestly don’t understand why that is not the world we live in. It would NOT make straw purchases any easier, in person, online, nothing will discourage criminals from breaking the law. The only thing that might prove problematic is an increase in package theft to intercept firearms but that is easily solved by requiring an adult signature.

    • It won’t apply to online purchases. When purchasing online, the selling FFL doesn’t do the NICS check, the receiving FFL does. So you’d still need to do an FFL transfer for online purchases for the mandatory background check/Form 4473.

      • Except the ATF doens’t do the NICS check. In some states, a state agency actually does it. Florida does it through the FDLE which actually predated NICS. FDLE gets rid of the records after a specified time according to Florida law.

    • It’s interesting and suspicious. If we accept that the courts aren’t corrupt and rule by logic and the law and precedent, we could have had national unlicensed open carry years ago. Which would lead to shall issue permission slips for concealed carry even in places like New Jersey because they want us to hide our scary guns. We affect the culture less by always concealing and have less crime deterring value, something the anti’s don’t want.

      I’ll give G&G the benefit of the doubt because they certainly know that the right to bear arms means you have a right to openly carry a firearm, as Heller explicitly said (and every other court to consider the issue has said. Yes, it’s true, I realize no one reads serious books anymore much less whole court opinions written a century ago). I think they believe that the courts are too corrupt to rule correctly and give the entire nation open carry and they may be right. Otherwise, it’s a big conspiracy and people just have a hard time believing in bad things. One thing is for sure though, their “victories” haven’t yielded too much. Permission slips for Illinois, that’s it.

  9. So why couldn’t these interstate transactions have started 1 minute after the initial ruling just like all the gay marriages started happening the same day on their rulings?

    Oh yeah… I forgot…..the king didn’t like this latest ruling and he would have sicked the justice department (spit) on the transfer folks. You know, I remember a day, not terribly long ago, when people generally followed the law.

    The “fundamental transformation” that the king promised is just about completed towards a banana republic.

    • You know, I remember a day, not terribly long ago, when people generally followed the law.

      If you’re referring to politicians, you must be really old, because they’ve been selectively enforcing laws and interpreting the constitution since John Adams signed the Alien & Sedition Acts.

  10. Sadly, I’m not sure if this will do anything for me because of Michigan’s pistol registration.

  11. WINING.

    You know there’s an appeal coming, though, and I have doubts about the willingness of the SCOTUS to actually do its right and proper EXPLETIVE DEETED job of actually upholding and expanding our rights.

    Their track record doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Much less any of the circuit courts, which are apparently split.

  12. How long until this ruling means that normal people can perform face-to-face sales with an out-of-state buyer? I’m thinking Oregon folks could clean up by selling to Washington folks who now must have an FFL perform every stinkin’ transfer.

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